Granny flat. Just who’s idea was it to call it that anyway? Why not mini-house? The Americans call it a secondary suite, which sounds far more classy when you think about it.
The name granny flat, when you think about it, isn’t all that enticing, after all, is it? But is it a uniquely Australian term, or did it have its origins somewhere else?
In these modern times, grandmas are now taking to be called unique, quirky and cute names – it strikes fear into the hearts of many 50-year-olds that they might someday soon be called “granny”. Granny, as a nickname for grandma or grandmother now seems old, and stale.
And so, the term granny flat sounds like an ancient lady – and this is a bit of a pointer as to its origins.
We know that the term granny flat is one from days of yore. We also know that it’s used extensively throughout the UK, as well as Australia. With a little bit of digging, we find that the predecessor to the granny flat was the dower house.
What is a dower house? It’s a small home built on the property of a large central house. When the son or daughter, the heir of the widow (usually of a duke or earl) in the current home, is ready to take on the house themselves, the widow moves out to the dower house. As you can see – she is the granny. While she’s still there to help out when needs be, she’s also out of the way and has her independence too. These types of homes originated in England, and the idea of them spread through the rest of the UK, and so also to Australia and New Zealand, by our origins.
These days, it’s not just elderly relatives who live in granny flats in the backyard. We use them to house kids, other family members, visitors, or even use them for studies, offices or art rooms. If you’re interested in getting a granny flat, for your mother, mother-in-law, or for anyone else or any other purpose, then have a browse through our affordable granny flat designs. We flat pack and send to save you those dollars – ask us for more info.